Powering up region
A report on the State’s future in battery production has been welcomed by South West leaders as an opportunity to boost the economy.
The Western Australian Future Battery Industry Strategy report outlines the State Government’s plan to grow WA into a leading exporter of battery minerals, materials, technologies and expertise.
The report, which was launched last week by Premier Mark McGowan and Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston, outlines the State Government’s vision to make WA a world-leading battery producer by 2025.
This vision is backed by WA now being the world’s biggest producer of lithium and a leading producer of other battery metals including nickel, cobalt and rare minerals.
Harvey shire president Tania Jackson said the report was timely given the recent approval of Albemarle’s lithium refinery in Kemerton. “This is a great opportunity to develop this industry in the region,” Cr Jackson said.
“Given the resources in the State, the raw materials available and the location of Greenbushes, I would think we’re talking not just about the Bunbury-Geographe region, but wider than that.”
She said the greater South West had the capabilities to drive the industry.
“I can certainly see power generation being a good fit for Collie and for Kemerton.”
Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke welcomed the report as “fantastic news” that would help diversify the region’s economy.
“With Albermarle’s Kemerton lithium plant already set to create over 1000 jobs for the region, this strategy will realise the full potential of the South West in this growing sector,” Ms Clarke said.
Bunbury MLA Don Punch said Albemarle’s project was a huge opportunity for Bunbury and the South West.
“The Future Battery Industry Strategy will help diversify our local South West economy and generate thousands of local jobs,” Mr Punch said.
“This is an exciting opportunity for our community where we can be at the forefront of WA’s future battery industry with huge potential for industry growth and job creation across the battery value chain.”
Premier Mark McGowan said the battery industry was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for the State .
“Our Future Battery Industry Strategy will drive the development of the Western Australian battery materials industry that will create local jobs, contribute to skills development and economic diversification, and maximise benefits to regional communities.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Western Australia to be recognised as a world-leading producer and exporter of future battery materials, technologies and expertise, with huge potential for industry growth and job creation across the battery value chain.”
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